The government approved Sunday the appointment of Professor Gabriela Shalev as Israel's new ambassador to the United Nations.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said it was important for Israel to appoint a woman to the coveted position.
Shalev, 67, is to replace current UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman, whose five-year term will end in a few weeks' time. She will be the first Israeli woman envoy to the UN.
Livni praised Gillerman's work a the world body, saying "his skills allowed him to cope well with the challenges he faced during his tenure, including the Second Lebanon War, Hamas' takeover of Gaza and the issue of Iran."
As for Prof. Shalev, the FM said she was an "internationally respected woman who served in various public posts. I am confident in her ability to represent Israel."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's candidate for the job was former consul-general in New York Alon Pinkas, who is hailed as an expert in US politics. Defense Minister Ehud Barak also backed Pinkas, as did President Shimon Peres and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.